|Publication number||US7649700 B1|
|Application number||US 11/674,906|
|Publication date||Jan 19, 2010|
|Priority date||Feb 14, 2006|
|Publication number||11674906, 674906, US 7649700 B1, US 7649700B1, US-B1-7649700, US7649700 B1, US7649700B1|
|Inventors||Joel A. Diemer|
|Original Assignee||Arrowhead Center, Inc.|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (14), Referenced by (2), Classifications (14), Legal Events (2)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
This application claims priority to and the benefit of the filing of U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/773,474, entitled “A Helmet Technology To Provide/Restore Full Peripheral Vision to Users”, filed on Feb. 14, 2006, and the specification thereof is incorporated herein by reference.
The present invention relates in general to helmets and helmet devices.
One of the casualties of on-going efforts to improve the safety of football helmets in particular and safety helmets in general is the obstruction or total loss of peripheral vision. The football helmet has evolved from a form fitting, leather, aviator-style cap to today's high-impact plastic, shock absorbing crash helmet. This high-tech box is further augmented for player safety with padded chin strap, and face cage. For linemen, a wrap-around plexiglass shield for eye protection may also be added. While all these features add to player safety, the effect is to limit the field of the player's vision. The vision restrictive nature of the helmet is sometimes compounded with padding and structural features on shoulder pads which nominally protect against rotational and snap back injuries to the neck, which limits the view of the player to that similar to a tunnel.
That the players' peripheral vision is compromised is on display wherever football is being played. Virtually all players to greater or lesser extent display the same exaggerated “turn to Look” behavior when on the field of play. While on the surface this may not be much of a problem, lack of peripheral vision undoubtedly results in injury when contact from the side or back is unexpected, not to mention the innumerable dropped passes, missed tackles and blocks, and quarterback sacks.
It is desirable, therefore, to provide a helmet apparatus that provides peripheral vision to the wearer of a helmet.
An apparatus for providing enhanced peripheral vision to a wearer of a helmet in accordance with the present invention includes at least one lens member adapted to be received at a predetermined location in the helmet. The lens member is operable to direct light from a side portion of the helmet to a location adjacent the eyes of a wearer of the helmet.
In one embodiment, the lens member is a wedge prism lens member. Alternatively, the lens member is a Fresnel-type lens member. Alternatively, the lens member is a magnifying lens member. Alternatively, the lens member refracts light from the side portion of the helmet along a predetermined refracting angle to the location adjacent the eyes of the wearer of the helmet. Alternatively, the lens member is shaded. Alternatively, the lens member includes a polarizing medium disposed thereon.
Alternatively, the lens member is a pair of lens members disposed on opposing sides of said helmet. Alternatively, the lens member includes a central portion curved outwardly with respect to outer portions of the lens member. Alternatively, the lens member is formed from an optics-grade material. Alternatively, the lens member is formed from a polycarbonate material. Alternatively, the lens member is a pair of lens members joined together.
Another embodiment of the present invention provides a helmet assembly for providing enhanced peripheral vision to a wearer of a helmet that includes a helmet member having a helmet portion and an open face portion. The helmet member defines at least one receiving portion at a predetermined location therein. The assembly includes at least one lens member adapted to be received in the receiving portion of the helmet member and is operable to refract or direct light from a side portion of the helmet to a location adjacent an eye level of a wearer of the helmet.
Another embodiment of the present invention provides a helmet assembly for providing enhanced peripheral vision to a wearer of a helmet that includes a helmet member having a helmet portion and an open face portion. The helmet member defines a pair of receiving slots formed on opposing sides of the helmet portion adjacent the open face portion adjacent an eye level of a wearer of the helmet. The assembly also includes a pair of lens members received in the receiving slots that are operable to refract or direct light from a side portion of the helmet to a location adjacent the eye level of the wearer of the helmet along a predetermined refracting angle.
The present invention advantageously provides a modification to a helmet in the form of a customizable, optical-grade lens member that employs the concept of light refraction through a prism or the like. The present invention advantageously retains an original field of vision area of the helmet but enhances peripheral vision to the user of the helmet. The helmet may be any type of helmet including, but not limited to, a helmet for football, skiing, hockey, car racing, cycling, motorcycling, bicycling, and any other activity where a helmet is worn and where it is desirable to enhance the peripheral vision of the wearer of the helmet.
Objects, advantages and novel features, and further scope of applicability of the present invention will be set forth in part in the detailed description to follow, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, and in part will become apparent to those skilled in the art upon examination of the following, or may be learned by practice of the invention. The objects and advantages of the invention may be realized and attained by means of the instrumentalities and combinations particularly pointed out in the appended claims.
The accompanying drawings, which are incorporated into and form a part of the specification, illustrate one or more embodiments of the present invention and, together with the description, serve to explain the principles of the invention. The drawings are only for the purpose of illustrating one or more preferred embodiments of the invention and are not to be construed as limiting the invention. In the drawings:
Referring now to
Lens member 20 is received in receiving slot 18. Lens member 20 is preferably formed from an optical grade polycarbonate material or any other suitable optical grade material, discussed in more detail below. Helmet 12 also includes padding 13 on an interior surface thereof, best seen in
Light enters face portion 16 of helmet 12 from many forward-facing directions, indicated by arrows 22. Lens member 20 directs light, such as by refraction or the like, from the side or the rear directions of helmet portion 14, indicated by arrows 24, towards eye location of the wearer, indicated generally at 26 in
As shown in
Referring now to
Apparatus 10 and assembly 28 in accordance with the present invention advantageous provide the wearer of helmet 12 with enhanced peripheral vision without compromising safety, as helmet 12 retains all of its safety features in helmet portion 14.
Preferably, lens members 20, 30, 32, and 34 are manufactured to various standard specifications including, but not limited to, magnification, refractive angle 25, shading, polarization, and the like. Lens members 20, 30, 32, and 34 are preferably customized as necessary. Fitting of helmet 12 preferably includes selection of lens member 20, 30, 32, or 34 by trial and error, with the assistance of manufacturer trained technicians, or by medical personnel, as appropriate. Once selected, the lens member 20, 30, 32, or 34 is preferably fused in place in slot 18 to become an integral part of helmet 12.
Apparatus 10 and assembly 28 advantageously provide a modification to a helmet, such as helmet 12 in the form of a customizable, optical-grade lens member 20, 30, 32, or 34 that employs the concept of light refraction through a prism or the like. Apparatus 10 and assembly 28 advantageously retains an original field of vision area of helmet 12 but enhances peripheral vision to the wearer of helmet 12. Helmet 12 may be any type of helmet including, but not limited to, a helmet for football, skiing, hockey, car racing, cycling, motorcycling, bicycling, and any other activity where a helmet is worn and where it is desirable to enhance the peripheral vision of the wearer of the helmet.
Although the invention has been described in detail with particular reference to these preferred embodiments, other embodiments can achieve the same results. Variations and modifications of the present invention will be obvious to those skilled in the art and it is intended to cover in the appended claims all such modifications and equivalents. The entire disclosures of all references, applications, patents, and publications cited above and/or in the attachments, and of the corresponding application(s), are hereby incorporated by reference.
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|Citing Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US9030382 *||Apr 14, 2011||May 12, 2015||Bae Systems Bofors Ab||Method and device for target designation|
|US20130141312 *||Apr 14, 2011||Jun 6, 2013||Bae Systems Bofors Ab||Method and device for target designation|
|U.S. Classification||359/811, 345/8, 2/424, 2/425, 2/10|
|International Classification||A63B71/10, G02B7/02|
|Cooperative Classification||A42B3/042, G02B3/02, A42B3/0406, A63B71/10|
|European Classification||A42B3/04B4, A42B3/04B, G02B3/02|
|Apr 27, 2007||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: ARROWHEAD CENTER, INC., NEW MEXICO
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:DIEMER, JOEL A.;REEL/FRAME:019221/0665
Effective date: 20070222
|Feb 20, 2013||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 4